Researchers Discover What Area on the Brain Controls Dreaming

Person dreaming

Researchers discovered a hot zone on the brain which becomes active when we dream

Researchers claim to have found the spot in the brain which is responsible for dreaming. They say that the brain hosts a “hot zone” which, if analyzed, can tell if someone is dreaming. Also, it might indicate what the person is dreaming about.

Dreaming has always been a mystery

The study was published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. It might bring precious insight on what actually happens in our brain during sleep, how we end up dreaming, and why this experience takes place. The study might help in revealing the mysteries of dreaming.

This complex process is quite hard to understand, and scientists have always tried to find out why it happens and how it happens. Some say that dreaming plays a role in the processing of information. Namely, when we dream, we choose what we need from the huge amount of information we gather during the day. Also, this might help in the formation of memories.

Sleep has four stages. Of all these stages, REM (rapid eye movement) is the moment when scientists think we dream. Brain scans showed that, during this stage of sleep, the brain is incredibly active, almost as if it were awake. However, the study discovered that people may dream during other stages of sleep, too.

Researchers performed an electroencephalography on 32 sleeping people. Then, they woke up the participants at different times and asked them if they were dreaming. If the answer was yes, then they asked what they were dreaming about. Then, they looked at the brain scans to see what patterns they showed.

A specific area on the brain controls dreaming

Thus, they discovered that dreaming took place during all stages of sleep. The activated area was situated at the back of the brain which is called the posterior cortical hot zone. Then, they looked at the activity of the neurons during dreaming and noticed that it shifted according to what the people dreamt about.

There neural connections could indicate if the person was dreaming about people or if the dream contained movement or speech. However, there is still a lot to study until researchers might say they have achieved full understanding of dreams.

The first step was made, and they identified the area on the brain responsible with dreaming. What they have to do now is study the other structures in the vicinity of the hot zone which play a role in emotions and memories and might also influence dreaming.
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